Benjy, the bull in Ireland who had an international campaign launched in his name after his original owner threatened to send him to the slaughterhouse due to his lack of interest in mating, appears to be exploring new options in his sanctuary home.
His new owner, Wendy Valentine of the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, Northfolk, told the BBC “Judging by what he was trying to do the other day with one of the cows... he isn’t gay.”
In November, it emerged that a farmer in Co. Mayo had purchased Benjy, a pedigree Charolais bull, for purposes of breeding. However, he found that Benjy preferred other bulls to his heifers and wouldn’t inseminate the herd. Rendered useless, Benjy was to be sold to the slaughterhouse.
In response, Irish animal protection group ARAN teamed up with TheGayUK magazine to create a crowdfunding page to save Benjy's life and University of Leeds student Charlie Smith has also created a similar ‘lifeline’ petition.
Then, “The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon, stepped in to lend his support to the “Save Benjy” campaign. Simon, who died from colon cancer in March, paid $7,826 (€6,250) to save Benjy. A long-time vegan and animal rights activist, Simon pledged to give away $100 million of his fortune to charitable causes before his death.
Benjy was sent to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary to live out his days in peace. His new owner confirmed to the BBC that this will still be the case, no matter his feelings towards heifers.
“Benjy came to us because somebody thought he was gay,” Valentine said.
“We don’t know whether or not he is, but the fact that someone thought he was has certainly saved his life and stopped him being sent to the slaughterhouse.
“Since he’s been with us he’s matured. He’s very content. He’s a large, gentle animal. He’s lovely and he’s a very handsome boy, but a big gentle softie.”